I rarely write movie reviews. In fact, I consider myself to be cinema challenged. Only recently have I paid much attention to how movies are made or the artistic value necessary to their creation. I just watch to be entertained.
This past year, though, I set a goal to see all nine of the movies nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. I was able to see eight of them. The cinematography and effects in the Life of Pi were fascinating. The actress in Amour, I believe, should have won an Oscar for her portrayal of a stroke victim. The filmmakers of Argo created such intensity without ever firing a shot (or only firing shots in the distance) that I held my breath during large portions of the movie. All of the stories were well told, but I don’t remember walking out of any of the films feeling more optimistic about people or society in general.
The Jackie Robinson story of 42 was different. The characters were likable (overall), and their one liners laugh out loud funny. But ultimately, it was a true story of good triumphing over evil within the context of American baseball. Sure, there was conflict and struggle. There were characters who made me wince at what they said (because I’ve heard similar sentiments from various family members). But at the end of the movie, my fellow theater-goers and I clapped. We didn’t applaud the editing or the acting, per se. We applauded the victory won after intense struggle and the impact one man’s struggle made on those who watched.
I’m not willing to say Jackie Robinson was a Jesus figure in the movie, but he did “live the sermon”.